Lindsay Stafford Mader 2015-11-25 16:37:16
A historic induction ceremony welcomes new attorneys and a new oath. The State Bar of Texas membership grew at the November 16 induction ceremony held in Austin by a joint session of the Supreme Court of Texas and Court of Criminal Appeals. Almost 1,900 test-takers passed the July 2015 Texas Bar Exam and were eligible to be sworn in at the event, which marked the first recitation of the new lawyer’s oath that now features language to advance civility and integrity in the practice of law. While inductions take place twice each year, the November event was notable because it included new lawyers as well as established attorneys from across the state. Following the 84th Texas Legislature’s passage of SB 534—which implemented the civility pledge—the State Bar invited all practicing attorneys to come to Austin to retake the oath of office with their colleagues. Some lawyers who couldn’t attend have been holding small ceremonies with their local bar associations. In addition to the high court justices and judges, deans of the state’s law schools, and State Bar leaders, also in attendance were guests of honor Sen. Kirk Watson, author of SB 534; Reps. John T. Smithee and Todd Hunter, who sponsored the bill in the House; and State Bar Board Chair David Chamberlain, who is also the president of the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates, which urged the Legislature to adopt the bill. The new attorneys were welcomed to the profession by State Bar President Allan K. DuBois, who spoke about the importance of honoring one’s word and taking advantage of the bar’s member services, particularly the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program. C. Barrett Thomas, president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, also addressed the crowd and stressed that new lawyers should give back to the community. The high scorer of the July exam, Justin David Patrick, thanked his family and praised his peers’ skills and bright futures (the full text of his speech can be read on page 862). Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and Trish McAllister, executive director of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, presented pro bono awards to three recent law school graduates and South Texas College of Law for their efforts toward indigent representation. After all lawyers inside the Erwin Center recited the oath, standing and with their hands raised, the State Bar’s newest members congratulated each other with handshakes and retreated to their families and friends for hugs and celebration. “I’m very happy today. I’m also looking forward to eventually getting into civil litigation and opening up my own practice. Maybe one day you’ll see me on the court bench.” Eman Afshar, South Texas College of Law “I think the clause has always been implicit in the oath, but putting it explicitly in there makes it even more important for lawyers to remember that in their practice, integrity comes first.” Kathryn Ball, University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Growing+Family/2334101/283021/article.html.